- Duke Nukem 3D
Duke Nukem 3D Developer(s) 3D Realms (MS-DOS)
Tiger Electronics (Game.com)
Lion Entertainment, Inc. (Mac OS)
Lobotomy Software (Sega Saturn)
Aardvark Software (Playstation)
Eurocom (Nintendo 64)
Tec Toy (Mega Drive)
3D Realms (Xbox Live Arcade)
MachineWorks Northwest (iOS/iPhone)
Publisher(s) GT Interactive (MS-DOS, Game.com, PlayStation & Nintendo 64)
MacSoft Games (Mac OS)
Sega (Sega Saturn)
Tec Toy (Mega Drive)
3D Realms (Xbox Live Arcade)
MachineWorks Northwest (iOS/iPhone)
Designer(s) George Broussard, Allen H Blum III & Todd Replogle Composer(s) Robert Prince & Lee Jackson Series Duke Nukem Engine Build
SlaveDriver (Sega Saturn)
Platform(s) PC (MS-DOS), Game.com, Mac OS, Sega Saturn, PlayStation, Nintendo 64, Windows, Sega Mega Drive, Xbox 360, iOS, Zeebo, Maemo 5(Nokia N900) and source ports to many other platforms Release date(s) MS-DOS
- NA 1997
- JP January 28, 1999
Xbox Live Arcade
- NA August 3, 2009
December 29, 2009
Genre(s) First-person shooter Mode(s) Single-player, Multiplayer Rating(s) ESRB: M
Media/distribution CD-ROM, cartridge, download System requirements
- 486DX2/66 with 8 megabytes of memory and VGA graphics
- Windows 95/98/ME/2000/XP/Vista/7
Duke Nukem 3D is a first-person shooter computer game developed by 3D Realms and published by GT Interactive Software. The full version was released for the PC (the shareware version was released on January 29, 1996). It is a sequel to the platform games Duke Nukem and Duke Nukem II published by Apogee. An expansion pack, Plutonium Pak, was released in November 1996.
Duke Nukem 3D features the adventures of the titular macho Duke Nukem (voiced by Jon St. John), who fights back an alien invasion on Earth. Reception of Duke Nukem 3D has been largely positive. Reviewers praised the interactivity of the environment and the humor within the game. Similarly it was a big commercial hit selling about 3.5 million copies. The game's erotic elements and portrayal of women have incited controversy. After fifteen years in development hell, a direct sequel was released called Duke Nukem Forever.
- 1 Gameplay
- 2 Synopsis
- 3 Expansions and versions
- 4 Compilations
- 5 Development
- 6 Reception
- 7 References
As a first-person shooter, the gameplay of Duke Nukem 3D involves moving through levels presented from the protagonist's point of view, shooting enemies on the way. The environment of Duke Nukem 3D is highly destructible and interactive; most props can be destroyed by the player.
Levels were designed in a fairly non-linear manner such that players can advantageously use air ducts, back doors and sewers to avoid enemies or find hidden caches. These locations are also filled with objects with which the player can interact, that either benefit the player in some form (light switches make it easier to see, while water fountains and broken hydrants provide some health points) or simply provide diversion (tipping strippers provokes a quote from Duke and a provocative reveal from the dancer).
Weapons and equipment
Weapons include the "Mighty Foot" (a basic kick attack), a pistol, a shotgun, a chain gun (similar in design to the Nordenfelt gun), a rocket-propelled grenade launcher, pipe bombs, freeze- and shrink-rays, laser trip mines, and the rapid fire "Devastator" rocket launcher. There is also an extra weapon known as the 'Expander' which is only available in the Atomic edition of the game.
Other items can be picked up during play. A portable medkit allows the players to heal Duke at will. Steroids speed up Duke's movement, as well as instantly reversing the effects of the shrinker. Nightvision goggles allow players to see enemies in the dark. The "HoloDuke" device projects a hologram of Duke that can be used to distract enemies. Protective boots allow Duke to cross dangerously hot or toxic terrain. Where progress requires more aquatic legwork, scuba gear (an aqua-lung) allows Duke to take longer trips away from air. Duke's jetpack allows the player to move vertically.
The game features a wide range of monsters, some of which are aliens, other mutated humans (the LAPD has been turned into "Pig-cops", a play on the derogatory term "pig" for police officers, with LARD emblazoned on their uniforms). As is usual for a first-person shooter, Nukem encounters a large number of lesser foes, and a small number of boss enemies (usually at the end of chapters). Like Duke, these enemies have access to a wide range of weapons and equipment (some weaker enemies have jet packs).
Duke Nukem 3D features multiplayer. At the time of its release, Internet-based gaming was just beginning. Duke Nukem 3D did not support the TCP/IP client/server model, instead basing its network play on the IPX LAN, modem or serial cable. Duke Nukem 3D players often either battled modem-to-modem, using the $20.00 IPX network utility Kali or the Total Entertainment Network (TEN) online pay service. Kali allowed users to connect to a chat room to host and join games. The Total Entertainment Network featured hundreds of Duke 3D players online at any given time and players had to pay a monthly fee (originally $5.00, gradually increased to $20.00). In 1996 TEN hosted a first of its kind, nationally participated in "online tournament" rewarding the champions with cash and prizes sparking an immediate surge in online gaming. Some of the first prizes were $500 cash and a lifetime membership to the service. The only Duke tournament was won by one of the first cyber athletes, Christopher S Carpentier, aka "Creamator", who battled over 14 thousand entries to claim the title of "One True Duke!" Most of these newly declared cyber athletes later went on to the PGL "Professional Gamers League" after TEN converted its business model to Pogo.
Duke's levels were often used as the battlegrounds for these encounters and users were even able to create their own levels (or maps) via the in-game Build engine. The game also features co-operative play (co-op) which allows players to complete the story based single player mode together. In the Atomic version, a new game play mode was introduced: Duke Tag, a "capture the flag" style mode.
Duke Nukem multiplayer continues to exist online through launcher services maintained by fans such as YANG, Meltdown and Dukester X. This has been possible thanks to fan-made Windows and Linux ports of the game such as hDuke, xDuke and eDuke32. Various Duke Nukem 3D community maintained web sites still exist on the Internet supporting online play and there is still a community of players throughout the world currently playing.
Duke Nukem 3D is set on Earth "sometime in the early 21st century". The levels of Duke Nukem 3D take the player outdoors and indoors through rendered street scenes, military bases, deserts, a flooded city, space stations, moon bases and a Japanese restaurant.
The game contains several humorous references to pop culture, like some of Duke's lines that are drawn from movies like They Live, Evil Dead II, Jaws, Dirty Harry, Pulp Fiction, and Aliens; the mutated women begging "Kill me" are also a reference to the latter. The player will encounter corpses of famous characters such as Luke Skywalker, Indiana Jones, the protagonist of Doom, and a smashed T-800. During the second episode, the player can see The Monolith (from 2001: A Space Odyssey) on the Moon.
There is little story in the game except for a brief text prelude located under "Help" in the Main Menu, and a few cutscenes after the completion of an episode. The introduction establishes that the game picks up right after the events of Duke Nukem II, with Duke returning to Earth in his space cruiser. As Duke descends on Los Angeles in hopes for a vacation, a blast rips through from unknown hostiles and critically damages Duke's ship. While sending a distress signal, Duke learns that aliens are attacking Los Angeles and have mutated the LAPD. With his plans now ruined, Duke hits the "eject" button, and vows to do whatever it takes to stop the alien invasion.
In "Episode One: L.A. Meltdown", Duke fights his way through a dystopic Los Angeles. At a strip-club, he is captured by pig-cops, but escapes the alien-controlled penitentiary and tracks down the alien cruiser responsible for the invasion in the San Andreas Fault. After killing the first boss, the Alien Battlelord, Duke discovers that the aliens were capturing women, and detonates the ship.
In "Episode Two: Lunar Apocalypse", Duke journeys to space, where he finds many of the captured women held in various incubators throughout space stations that had been conquered by the aliens. Duke reaches the alien mothership on the Moon and kills an Alien Overlord. As Duke inspects the ship's computer, it is revealed that the plot to capture women was merely a ruse to distract him. The aliens have already begun their main and ultimate attack on Earth.
In "Episode Three: Shrapnel City", Duke battles the massive alien resistance through Los Angeles once again, and finally saves the day after he kills the leader of alien menace: the Cycloid Emperor. The game ends as Duke promises in a voice-over that after some "R&R", he will be "...ready for more action!", as an anonymous woman calls him back to bed.
The story continues in the Atomic Edition. In "Episode Four: The Birth", it is revealed that the aliens used a captured woman to give birth to the Queen, a creature which could quickly spawn deadly alien protector drones. Duke is dispatched back to Los Angeles to fight hordes of aliens, including the protector drones. Eventually, Duke finds the lair of the alien Queen, and kills her, thus thwarting the alien plot.
Expansions and versions
PC versions and add-ons
Various spin-offs and modifications to the original Duke Nukem 3D were produced in the following years of the game's initial launch.
Plutonium PAK/Atomic Edition: The Atomic Edition of Duke Nukem 3D was released in November 1996, and contained the original 3 episode game as well as a new eleven-level fourth episode. The Plutonium PAK was also released as an upgrade package to convert the original release of Duke Nukem 3D (v1.3d) to the new Atomic Edition (v1.4, later patched to v1.5). It introduces new enemies, a new final boss (The Queen), a new weapon, and changes to the script to make it easier to mod. Finally, the player can set up a multiplayer session against CPU bots. This is the only official add-on for the game.
EDuke: Following the release of the Doom source code in 1997, gamers wanted a similar source code release from 3D Realms. The last major game to make use of the Duke Nukem 3D source code was TNT Team's WWII GI in 1999. Its programmer, Matthew Saettler, obtained permission from 3D Realms to expand the gameplay enhancements done on WWII GI to Duke Nukem 3D. EDuke was released as a patch for Atomic Edition users on July 28, 2000, and included a demo mod made by several beta testers. 
Duke Caribbean: Life's a Beach: This is an authorized add-on developed by Sunstorm Interactive. Duke is relaxing on a tropical island when he discovers that the aliens are having their own "vacation". This unofficial add-on includes a sunny Caribbean atmosphere and theme such as beaches, vacation hotels. Charlie Wiederhold created several levels for this add-on. Wiederhold was later hired by 3D Realms to work on the sequel Duke Nukem Forever.
Duke it out in D.C.: In this storyline, President Bill Clinton is captured by alien forces, and Duke must save him. This expansion pack featured levels that were based on real-world locations, such as the White House, the FBI headquarters, the Smithsonian museum, and the Washington Monument and other places in Washington, D.C. This game was also developed by Sunstorm. The add-on was unofficial but was included in an official compilation called Duke Nukem: Kill-A-Ton Collection through business deals with 3D Realms. Charlie Wiederhold also created levels for this add-on.
Duke: Nuclear Winter (also called Duke Nukem: Nuclear Winter): This add-on was developed by Simply Silly Software and WizardWorks. In the storyline, Santa Claus is being mind-controlled by aliens into causing trouble on Earth. Several of the levels take place near the North Pole.
Duke Xtreme: An add-on developed by Sunstorm and contained 50 levels and various utilities.
Duke!Zone: A product called Duke!ZONE was once sold by WizardWorks, which included over 500 fan-made levels.
Duke!Zone II: WizardWorks later created an add-on called Duke!ZONE II, which contained three episodes of its own design and the same 500+ levels from Duke!Zone.
Console versions and add-ons
Duke Nukem 3D was ported to many of the consoles of that time. All the ports featured some sort of new content.
Duke Nukem 3D (Game.com) was released in 1997 in the USA only. Unlike every other version of the game, Duke Nukem cannot turn; he can only move forwards, backwards, and strafe left or right. Due to the Game.com's monochrome screen, it is also the only version to lack color. It includes only four levels from each of the three episodes for a total of 12 levels, all of which are modified to accommodate Duke Nukem's inability to turn.
Duke Nukem 3D (Sega Saturn) - the Sega Saturn version was ported by Lobotomy Software and published by Sega. It retains the original name and uses Lobotomy's SlaveDriver engine. This version uses the Sega NetLink for online gaming, and has built-in support for the Saturn's analog pad. It also includes a hidden multiplayer mini-game called Death Tank Zwei and an exclusive bonus level called Urea 51, accessed through the main level Fahrenheit. It was the final game branded by Sega of America under the Deep Water label, employed for games featuring adult content such as this and Eternal Champions: Challenge from the Dark Side.
Duke Nukem: Total Meltdown (titled simply Duke Nukem in Europe), the PlayStation version, contains all three original episodes, plus a new one, Plug 'n' Pray, which includes six extra levels and a secret level, the latter which was also included in the PC version. The new episode features several new enemies (including three new types of Pig Cops) and a new final boss, robot CyberKeef. The version also features remixed music, some rearranged from the PC version and some original, in streaming XA-Audio made by Mark Knight.
Duke Nukem 64 is a port for Nintendo 64 which features a split screen 4-player mode. In-game music was removed, many items were renamed to avoid drug and sex references, and several levels were altered to include areas from the Plutonium Pak (such as a Duke Burger outlet being present in the second level where there wasn't one in the original PC version). Game levels are played sequentially instead of as separate "episodes". Other changes included a fully 3D model for the final boss and new weapons. The Alien Beast monster seen in the Plutonium Pak also appears a few times in the standard levels where it wasn't in the original PC version at all.
Duke Nukem 3D (Mega Drive) was released in 1998 by Tec Toy. The visuals were drastically simplified, being closer to early shooters like Wolfenstein 3D; also, it consists solely of Lunar Apocalypse, the second from the original game's three "episodes", which was heavily modified to suit the engine. This version was released in South America only.
Duke Nukem 3D (Xbox Live). The game was released on September 24, 2008 for Xbox Live. This version features the ability to "rewind" the game to any prior point upon dying, save clips of gameplay, and play co-operatively online, as well as the standard "Dukematch" online mode. The music received a slight quality upgrade with modern MIDI tools.
Duke Nukem 3D (iPhone/iPod Touch). The game includes the primary 3 episodes and all of the main sound fx, but does not include background music in-game. There is no multiplayer option and the framerate tends to fall dramatically when multiple enemies are on-screen. Lacks the ability to peer through windows to outdoor areas.
Duke Nukem 3D (Nokia N900). On December 29, 2009 Duke Nukem 3D was released for a Nokia SmartPhone. As shown in a MaemoWorld's video, Duke is controlled using the Qwerty keypad and touchscreen.
Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded
The independent development team Inceptor Entertainment is currently developing a reimagining under a limited licence from Gearbox under the name Duke Nukem 3D: Reloaded. The reimagining is set to only take core ideas and concepts from the original game and will be vastly different from Duke Nukem 3D.
Duke Nukem 3D is included in several compilations. A bundle called East Meets West includes the full versions of Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition and Shadow Warrior. A bundle called Duke Nukem: Kill-A-Ton Collection features Duke Nukem 3D: Atomic Edition, Duke Xtreme, Duke!ZONE II, Duke Nukem I (Duke Nukum), Duke Nukem II, and various other utilities. Earlier packages of Duke Nukem 3D also included the complete versions of Duke Nukem I and II as a bonus. Duke: The Apocalypse contains Duke Xtreme and Duke!ZONE II. Duke: The Apocalypse 2 Contains Duke!Zone, Duke It Out In D.C., a strategy guide and a T-shirt.
LameDuke is an early beta version of Duke Nukem 3D, which was released by 3D Realms as a "bonus" one year after the release of the official version. It has been released as is, with no support, and is currently available to download from the 3DRealms FTP.
LameDuke features four episodes: Mrr Caliber, Mission Cockroach, Suck Hole and Hard Landing. Some weapons were removed and/or altered from the original versions.
The source code to the Duke Nukem 3D v1.5 executable, which uses the Build engine, was released as free software under the GPL on April 1, 2003. The game content remains under a proprietary license. The game was quickly ported by enthusiasts to modern operating systems. As of 2007[update], these projects gave the game a second life in multiplayer games through the Internet and a growing community is still actively playing.
The first Duke Nukem 3D port was from icculus.org. It is a cross-platform project that allows the game to be played on BeOS, FreeBSD, Linux, Mac OS X, Solaris, and Windows rather than DOS. The icculus.org codebase would later be used as the base for several other ports, including Duke3d_w32 and the official Mac OS X port of the game.
Another popular early project was Jonathon Fowler's JFDuke3D, which in December 2003 received backing from the original author of Build, programmer Ken Silverman. Fowler, in cooperation with Silverman, released a new version of JFDuke3D using Polymost, an OpenGL-enhanced renderer for Build which allows hardware acceleration and 3D model support along with 32-bit color high resolution textures. Another project based on JFDuke3D called xDuke (unrelated to the xDuke project based on Duke3d_w32) runs on the Xbox. Silverman had since helped Fowler with a large portion of other engine work, including updating the network code and helping to maintain various other aspects of the engine, but with no updates in nearly four years it is suspected the project may never see another release.
EDuke was a semi-official branch of Duke Nukem 3D that was released to the Internet as Duke Nukem 3D v2.0 by 3D Realms in 2000; it focused primarily on enhancing the CON scripting language in ways which allowed those modifying the game to do much more with the system than originally possible. Though a further version was planned, it never made it out of beta and was eventually canceled due to programmer time constraints. About a month after the release of the Duke Nukem 3D source code, Blood project manager Matt Saettler released the source code for both EDuke v2.0 and EDuke v2.1, the test version of what would have eventually become the next EDuke release, under the GPL.
While a few short-lived DOS based EDuke projects emerged, it was not until the release of EDuke32, an extended version of Duke3D incorporating variants of both Fowler's Microsoft Windows JFDuke3D code and Saettler's EDuke code, by one of 3D Realms' forum moderators in late 2004 that EDuke's scripting extensions received community focus. Among the various enhancements, support for advanced shader model 3.0 based graphics was added to EDuke32 during late 2008-early 2009. In June 2008, EDuke32 became the only Duke Nukem 3D port to compile and run natively on 64-bit Linux systems without the use of a 32-bit compatibility environment thanks to significant porting contributions from the DOSBox team.
On April 1, 2009, an OpenGL Shader Model 3.0 renderer was revealed to have been developed for EDuke32, labeled as the Polymer renderer (to distinguish from Ken Silverman's Polymost). At first it was thought to be an April Fool's joke, but the renderer was later made public. It allows for much more modern effects such as dynamic lighting and normal mapping to name a few. Although Polymer is completely usable, it is technically incomplete and unoptimized, and is still in development. As of the 5th installment of the High Resolution Pack (released in 2011), the Polymer renderer is mandatory. Another signification development of EDuke32 in 2011 is true room over room (TROR), where sectors can be placed over other sectors, and can be seen at the same time. In practice, this allows for true 3-dimensional level design that was previously impossible, although the engine is still 2D.
Enhancement by fans
Lee Jackson's theme song Grabbag has elicited many spin-offs and remixes over the years by both fans and professional musicians, including an officially sanctioned studio version by the popular thrash metal outfit Megadeth. Another version of the song was recorded by Chris Kline in August 2005. 3D Realms featured it on the front page of their website and contracted with Kline to use it to promote their Xbox Live release of Duke Nukem 3D.
The reviewers paid a lot of attention to the sexual content within the game. Their reception of this element varied: Tim Soete of GameSpot felt that it was "morally questionable", while the Game Revolution reviewer noted that it was "done in a tongue-in-cheek manner," and he was "not personally offended". IGN editor Cam Shea ranked it ninth on his top 10 list of Xbox Live Arcade games. He stated that it was as fun as it was in its initial release, and praised the ability to rewind to any point before the player died.
The game has been heavily attacked by some critics, who allege that it promotes pornography and murder. Media Watch made the following comments about the game:
"Duke Nukem 3D moves the 'shooter' through pornography stores, where Duke can use XXX sex posters for target practice. Duke throws cash at a prostituted woman telling her to 'Shake it, Baby' his gun ever ready. In the game bonus points are awarded for the murder of these mostly prostituted and partially nude women. Duke blows up stained glass windows in an empty church or goes to strip clubs where Japanese women lower their kimonos exposing their breasts. Duke is encouraged to kill defenseless, often bound women.
— Media Watch, Teaching Boys To Kill
However, the game does not have a scoring or rewards system of any kind, either for killing women or doing anything else. Instead, the game spawns even more enemies if the player kills a woman. No weapons, items or power-ups are ever given to players in return for violence towards women of any kind, though a cosmetic shower of dollar bills appears after killing a stripper. These cannot be collected and provide no gameplay or score bonus. The only exception is the "Fusion Station" level, where killing a certain woman will yield a shotgun as well as spawn an enemy.
As a response to the criticism encountered, censored versions of the game were released in certain countries to avoid having it banned altogether. A similar censored version was carried at Wal-Mart retail stores in the US.
In Australia, the game was originally refused classification on release. 3D Realms repackaged the game with the parental lock feature permanently enabled, although a patch available on the 3D Realms website allows the user to disable the lock and revert the game back to its original uncensored version. The OFLC then attempted to have the game pulled from the shelves, but it was discovered that the distributor had notified them of this fact and the rating could not be surrendered. Six months later, the game was reclassified and released uncensored with an MA15+ rating.
In 1999, Duke Nukem 3D was banned in Brazil, along with Quake, Doom and several other violent first-person shooters after a violent rampage in and around a movie theater was allegedly inspired by the first level in the game.
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- ^ Image from Totallylookslike.com
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- ^ "Duke Nukem 3D running on a Nokia N900". recombu. 2009-12-29. http://recombu.com/news/duke-nukem-3d-running-on-a-nokia-n900_M11275.html. Retrieved 2009-12-30.
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- ^ "Official Duke Nukem 3D Xbox LIVE Arcade Trailer". 3D Realms. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NExBO-QOdIU. Retrieved 2009-08-04.
- ^ "Duke Nukem 3D review for the PC". Game Revolution. 5 June 1996. http://www.gamerevolution.com/review/pc/duke-nukem-3d. Retrieved 1 July 2009.
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- ^ "GameFAQs Duke Nukem 3D Walkthrough". GameFAQs. 2008-08-21. http://www.gamefaqs.com/pc/197174-duke-nukem-3d/faqs/28201. Retrieved 2011-10-05.
- ^ Micheal Mullen. "Brazil Bans More Games". GameSpot. http://www.gamespot.com/news/2447352.html.
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